Ash Clothespins

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Project by Deela40 posted 03-31-2015 07:17 PM 2480 views 8 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently started to make clothespins. I have found that the ones you can buy in the store are worthless as they are made with wood of poor quality and with subpar springs. They come apart pretty easily too.

I make mine out of Ash and full coiled stainless steel springs. I also finish some with a mix of bees wax, turpentine and boiled linseed oil which gives them a nice smooth feel. It is tedious work, but I enjoy it and the end result makes it rewarding.

Pictures 4 shows the difference in quality of store bought vs. the ones I make with the clothespin in the middle being mine. Picture 5 shows the springs I use (middle), vs. the store bought.

Heritage Clothespins


17 comments so far

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2411 days

#1 posted 03-31-2015 08:16 PM

Interesting project.

the clothespin and spring in the middle are ones I made.

- Deela40

How do you make the spring?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View jim65's profile


800 posts in 1357 days

#2 posted 03-31-2015 09:01 PM

nice, sure a pleasure to use something useful and use it everyday. does the oil and wax leave a mark on wet clothes? cool project, where did you get the springs? you could make small clamps like this also

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View Deela40's profile


92 posts in 2512 days

#3 posted 03-31-2015 09:55 PM

SASmith, sorry I was not clear with that text as I do not make the springs. I have corrected the post.

jim65, I purchase the springs from someone who also makes clothespins. You can get them at Classic American Clothespins.

I haven’t used the oil and wax mix on pins that hang clothes yet. I do it mostly on the clips I use to keep bags closed, like chips. I have asked the guy who sells the springs about this, though, and he said he has not had an issue with it getting on clothes.


View arvanlaar's profile


40 posts in 622 days

#4 posted 04-01-2015 01:38 PM

Nice! I think I might try my hand at this little project

-- New to working and learning as much as I can :D

View sharad's profile


1108 posts in 3228 days

#5 posted 04-01-2015 01:52 PM

I always get annoyed with the clothespins available in the market. They are of poor quality. I use to dream why not make better ones myself. Your post has given me inspiration to try them out. Thank you very much.


-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 600 days

#6 posted 04-01-2015 02:21 PM

Thank you for sharing. Like many others I have become frustrated with store clothespins.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Deela40's profile


92 posts in 2512 days

#7 posted 04-01-2015 02:35 PM

For those interested in making these, you can get a started kit with some springs and the specs book at this link, which is what I did. If you are willing to take your time, it is an fairly easy process if you have a table saw and a decent router.

If you do not want to make them, but would like to get some decent clothespins, I have some you can get at my website Heritage Clothespins.


View Adam D's profile

Adam D

103 posts in 1698 days

#8 posted 04-01-2015 04:16 PM

The only thing I use clothespins for is for holding paper plates to the backstop at the shooting range. I’m not sure yours will hold up any better than the dollar-shop clothespins for that :)

-- Adam, Rochester NY

View Paul's profile


439 posts in 3013 days

#9 posted 04-01-2015 06:12 PM

Clothespins are not just for clothes anymore, these would make excellent pins for keeping bags of potato chips closed after opening, Might be a whole new opportunity for handcrafted bag closers,

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

View Eddie_T's profile


193 posts in 1495 days

#10 posted 04-01-2015 06:22 PM

Nice work! I have searched high and low for clothespins like my mother’s clothespins and you have nailed it. My wife complains about Chinese bobby pins being too narrow and twist easily, but they are not made of wood.

View Deela40's profile


92 posts in 2512 days

#11 posted 04-01-2015 06:32 PM

Paul, I actually make some out of cherry and walnut for bag closers, as you call them. I have also put magnets on others to hang things on the fridge.


View bigblockyeti's profile


3587 posts in 1144 days

#12 posted 04-03-2015 04:19 AM

If it’s tedious finishing the pin halves, have you thought about tumbling them and using wax flakes to speed production? BTW they look great!

View Deela40's profile


92 posts in 2512 days

#13 posted 04-03-2015 07:15 PM

Thank you for the feedback. I just got a used dryer to try tumbling. I need to make a bag to contain the pieces, but once I get one study enough I think it should work well. I am working on my next batch now so I am hoping to test in a week or two.


View bigblockyeti's profile


3587 posts in 1144 days

#14 posted 04-03-2015 07:53 PM

I used to use an old dryer for tumbling punch cut plastic parts and threw them in a pillow case. Denim seemed to hold up the longest but certainly not as long as it would with its intended use. Lightweight cotton cases were usually only good for one tumbling (~30 minutes).

View Deela40's profile


92 posts in 2512 days

#15 posted 04-03-2015 10:58 PM

I was trying to think what would be best to use while tumbling. I may have to try to modify an old pair of jeans to see how long they last.


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